Coronavirus Travel Update for British Hajj & Umrah Passengers
LAST UPDATED: 19.05.2020
(SCROLL THROUGH THE FULL THREAD – This article is being updated with developments, please check back regularly). Effective from the 27th of February 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended Umrah and Tourist visas for all nationalities (including Britons) for the purpose of Umrah pilgrimage.
19.05.2020 FCO Travel Advice to Saudi Arabia
COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.
15.04.2020 – HAJJ ADVICE 2020
31.03.2020 – MINISTER OF HAJ & UMRAH INTERVIEW ON AL EKHBARIYA TV
Key Points on services provided to Umrah pilgrims by KSA and Hajj 2020.
25.03.2020 – British Nationals on Umrah visas and tourism visas are asked to leave #Medina and travel to #Jeddah.
Please comply to avoid legal consequences. Brits currently in Medina should contact the British Consulate with their name, contact number and hotel details at gov.uk/contact-consul@UKinSaudiArabia
25.03.2020 – King orders lockdown in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh
23.03.2020 – King Salman orders partial curfew for 21 days
24.03.2020 – Overstaying Umrah pilgrims can seek exemption from penal action
24.03.2020 – Only main gates of the Grand Mosque to remain open
20.03.2020 – Saudi Arabia suspends domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains
20.03.2020 – Entry and prayer in courtyards of the Two Holy mosques suspended
17.03.2020 – Saudi Arabia closes all mosques for prayers except the Two Holy Mosques
17.03.2020 – Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel for an initial period of 30 days.
COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
Check advise by country: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
16.03.2020 – Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia London (Consulate Section) closed until further notice.
14.03.2020 – Saudi Arabia suspends international flights starting Sunday to prevent spread of coronavirus (Arab News)
This includes flights to and from UK to KSA
10.03.2020 – Grand Mosque’s sanitizing workforce increased to 450 (Saudi Gazette)
10.03.2020 – Saudi Arabia suspends travel to and from 14 countries due to coronavirus outbreak
08.03.2020 – Customers are entitled to full refunds’ if Umrah trips cancelled (Asian Image)
07.03.2020 – Makkah’s ‘Mataf’ reopens for non-Umrah worshippers (Arab News)
07.03.2020 – Mataf area reopened for non-Umrah worshipers (SG)
06.03.2020 – ‘Temporary suspension of Umrah compliant with Shariah’
05.03.2020 – Mataf, Masa and Al-Rawdah closed temporarily; prayer inside mosque only (SG)
05.03.2020 – Area around Kaaba briefly emptied for sterilization
04.03.2020 Saudi Arabia suspends Umrah for domestic pilgrims
The Ministry of Interior: #SaudiArabia temporarily suspends Umrah to Makkah and visits to the Prophet’s mosque in Medina for citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent the spread of #CoronaVirus
04.03.2020 General Presidency of Two Holy Mosques Shares Health Guidelines on Coronavirus on Screens of the Grand Mosque
03.03.2020 All tour operators have already been informed by the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah of the new protocol for obtaining refunds for Umra visa and any other pilgrim services which is to be administered by their local agents.
SAUDI AIRLINES TRAVEL UPDATES TO SAUDI ARABIA DUE TO CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)
CBHUK Update: We urge ALL passengers to contact their airlines for all options, rebooking and cancellations requests.
Ministry of Hajj approves the proper electronic mechanism to retrieve Umrah visa and services fees via Umrah agents in pilgrims country.
Ministry of Hajj & Umrah
Helpline Number: +966 92000 2814
The kingdom has temporarily suspended visa applications and entry for tourists traveling from certain regions affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. We will be sure to update you as soon as there are any changes.
Saudi Ministry of Tourism
From KSA: 930
Outside KSA: +966920000890
Effective from the 27th of February 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended Umrah and Tourist visas for all nationalities (including Britons) for the purpose of Umrah pilgrimage.
Please note that this is only a short-term precautionary measure. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will communicate any updates from the concerned authorities.
If you have booked a Flight or an Umrah package booked to travel within the next week, please contact your agent immediately. Your agent will explore the options of rescheduling your trip or a refund.
If you have booked your own Flight and Hotel, please contact the providers separately to explore options of rescheduling your trip or seeking a refund.
If your travel is after 1 week, please wait for further updates.
If you have booked a Hajj package, PLEASE DO NOT WORRY, rest assured that we are closely following developments surrounding the epidemic and will keep you updated of any significant news.
Your safety and security remains a high priority for us.
The Saudi authorities have many years of experience dealing with such epidemics, they have previously overcome challenges following the outbreak of MERS and SARS.
This is a joint statement by CBHUK and LHO (Licensed Hajj Organisers).
If you require further help or support, please email us.
See below for MOFA statements.
Read latest Foreign Office advice on travel to Saudi Arabia here.
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